(Yehuda this week at his ceremony for finishing second grade.)
I am such an olah (immigrant) that it makes me laugh (yes, and want to cry) at times. Yesterday, Yehuda came bouncing into the house declaring that I had homework to do. The first thing that always happens to me in these situations is that I get a pit in the middle of my stomach. Oh dear Gd, I think, what do I have to do in Hebrew this time?
So, Yehuda showed me the page of “homework” that I had been assigned. Yehuda has a project right now where he is writing things about his birth, his development, and his family. We, the parents, were given a detailed page where we were supposed to answer questions about our child. Normally, I would think that this was a great project – what fun to explain what I love about Yehuda! But, in Hebrew? Well, that just makes me want to tear it up into little pieces.
I sat down next to Yehuda and tried reading the first question. My Hebrew really is somewhat passable – but, of course, I had no idea what the question asked. I asked Yehuda to explain it and then, with a deep sigh, I explained to him that he was going to have to help me to write the answers. He quickly grew annoyed, and I knew that I wasn’t going to get anywhere.
I understood his frustration and didn’t want to push him. After all, what 8 year old wants a parent who can’t complete a second grade project without the help of her child?
Oh dear….so…how was I going to get these questions answered by the next morning? Sure, I could go to a neighbor’s house, but I just don’t have the energy for that type of activity right now. I always have Google Translate, and that would allow me to muddle through the questions and to write grammatically incorrect, and quite laughable, answers, but I didn’t want Yehuda to feel embarrassed by me. What is the immigrant parent to do?
After stewing about this through the early evening, I got an idea. When Yehuda went to bed, I grabbed Matan and explained to him that he had something he had to do. Together, we sat at the table and he explained what each question meant. Josh and I discussed our answers, and then Matan, our ten year old, wrote all of the answers down for us.
Haha! Success….we had beat the impossible system, well, at least for one more night. Victorious, I returned Yehuda’s work to his backpack and breathed a sigh of relief.
Ah, the life of the olah mommy. Never a dull moment.